Saturday Swim Session: 100’s for Sustained Speed With Even Less Rest

100’s are such a versatile distance and provide a range of fitness benefits for your swimming. Over the coming weeks we will use these sessions with less rest each week to build your fitness and ability to sustain your speed. This session is perfect for Ironman and Olympic distance triathletes or people doing longer ocean swims.

Yes, COVID-19 is impacting most swim training all around the world with pools shut in most western countries. I am continuing to produce these workouts and articles for athletes that are either lucky enough to still be able to train but also for when the pool reopens near you, you can use this in the future.

Each Saturday I will post a Swim Session, most weeks I will load three options up for you to do. Option A is for swimmers who are after a workout between 1,000 & 2,000 metres. Option B is for swimmers who are after a workout between 2,000 & 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

I’ve written these sessions for a 33⅓ metre pool, but a lot of the older style pools are 33⅓ yards long (100 feet), so simply interchange the metres for yards and do the session.

This week’s session is based on last week’s session but with only five seconds of Rest Interval (RI).

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 10x 100m Build 1-4, 5sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 14x 100m Build 1-4, 5sec RI;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 200m CD (2,800m)

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 8x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 20x 100m Build 1-4, 5sec RI;
  • 8x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 200m CD (4,000m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B), or 800m (Option C). During the warm-up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

Next up is a drill set of six (Options A and B) or eight repetitions (Option C) of 67m Drill/Swim, where you do a drill for the first 33m of the repetition and then normal swimming for the next 33m swimming. Feel free to use fins whilst doing the drill/swim set.  Do the drills completely before starting a second set doing the first two (Kick On Side each side) for a total of six reps for Options A & B, and completely through for Option C:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS) left side 
  2. Kick On Side (KOS) right side 
  3. 6/1/6 
  4. 6/3/6

I wrote an article about swimming drills previously. Click here to read and watch it.

The main set is made up of 100m reps swum as a Build set. With a building set the speed of each rep is built up (increased) over a series of four reps. This means that your first rep will be a moderate pace, your second a fast pace, your third, a faster pace, and your fourth rep will be your fastest rep. Repeat this process until you’ve completed ten repetitions (Option A), 14 repetitions (Option B), or 20 repetitions (Option C). Take a five seconds Rest Interval (RI) after each rep. For Options A & B this will leave two reps ‘left over‘, treat them as the third and fourth reps respectively of the Build rotation and do them as your fastest two reps.

Option A moves from the set of 100’s straight into the Cool Down (CD). Options B and C repeat the drill set from above again.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 200m. Unlike the previous sets which have to be freestyle, the cooldown (like the warm-up) can be any stroke you wish to swim.  You can also stop and rest after any length.  I encourage you to stop and stretch during the cool-down.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi Coaching.

I specialise in assisting first-timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729.

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If you enjoyed this workout, I published a similar session 12 months ago.

I’ve taken my most popular training plan and given it a make-over for 2020. I’ve taken the 12 Weeks to an Ironman Swim PB – Swim Faster with Smarter Training and I’ve modified to expand the programme from 12 weeks and include an option for more than 3 swims per week.

Now the programme has created some great times for athletes competing at Ironman events around the world, but it was overly set in stone. Now if you have got between 8 & 24 weeks to an Ironman and are consistently swimming 3x, 4x, or 5x per week, I’ve created an option for you. This is regardless of the length of the pool 25m, 33⅓yd, or 50m pool.

This programme is peroidised and builds throughout as you get closer to your Ironman. It works through four key phases:

  • Foundation & Injury Prevention Phase (building your base fitness and developing technique)
  • Early Quality Phase (develop strength and continue developing technique)
  • Transition Quality Phase (focus on threshold pace and maintain technique)
  • Final Quality Phase (further develop your speed and maintain technique and taper off for the event)

Although the original 12-week programme is proven and gets RESULTS. This modified version is unproven. I know it will get the results, but I need the proof. I need a dozen people to complete the programme, so I can measure how much improvement the programme actually delivers.

If you are entered in an Ironman, Iron-distance event, or an Ocean Swim/Open Water event and have between 8 and 24 weeks to train for it, you might be a good fit to try this training plan out. Not everyone will be a good fit for this programme.

This training plan is for people that are keen to swim faster in their Ironman (or other events). You need to be committed to completing a minimum of three swim workouts every week. You need to be meticulous with tracking your training.

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